As much fun as the breakfast bacon recipes I was trying were, it was time to move on. After all, bacon for breakfast is inherently pretty normal, and I’m trying to ride the edge, to be avant-garde! And so I turned my sights to other bacony ideas.
A quick note: With all the suggestions I’ve received (many of which are excellent, by the way, so please keep them coming), I’m not certain where the idea for this installment came from, and searches of my email and the comments on old Great Bacon Odyssey articles have yielded nothing. So if you think you suggested this, please send me an email and we’ll figure things out ThinkGeek gift certificate-wise. ADDENDUM: Turns out the idea came from a reader by the name of David Papajcik, who will be getting his $25 gift certificate shortly.
So, anyway, I’d been kicking around the idea of making corn dogs, only with bacon in place of the hot dog. There is, of course, nothing whatever wrong with corn dogs, but if I was going determine if bacon really makes everything better this was an idea that had to be tried. What, really, could be better than taking fat, coating it in fat, and then cooking the whole thing in fat? And after talking about it with my fellow GeekDads on our last podcast, how could I not do it?
I figured that, first of all, I would have to precook the bacon. Hot dogs come precooked, so need only to get hot in the process of making corn dogs, meaning that bacon — especially given the amount of fat it has raw — would at least need to be cooked to the point of killing the porcine bacteria and rendering much of the fat. Plus I could use some of the rendered fat in the cornmeal batter, which is all to the good.
My package of bacon had twelve slices, so I figured four slices per “dog” would work — my deep-fryer is pretty small, and I didn’t want to risk making the dogs too big to fit in the basket. So I fried up every slice in a skillet, pouring off the grease after each batch and saving a tablespoon of the grease for the batter. While the bacon cooled and dried (so the batter would stick), I set up the deep-fryer and got it started heating up to 375°F.
While it heated up, I made the batter. Having never made corn dogs before, I had no recipe for it, so I’d had to do some online research. I settled on a simple recipe of ½ cup flour, ½ cup cornmeal, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp ground pepper, ½ cup milk, 1 egg (beaten), and of course the tbsp of reserved bacon grease.
Having secured the bacon slices to skewers with toothpicks, I tried a trick I saw Alton Brown recommend online of pouring the batter into a tall drinking glass for dipping purposes. Unfortunately, the bacon slices weren’t as secured as I’d thought they were, and I had to pour the whole thing out into a bowl to avoid losing the bacon in the glass. For skewers two and three, I went with the pour-and-smear-with-a-spatula methodology, which worked much better. Then I fried them up, using poultry shears to clip the skewers just behind the dogs so they’d be better immersed in the oil.
The verdict? Very good! They weren’t as delicious as the skin of the bacon-crusted fried chicken, but they were very tasty. Most importantly, to my palate at least, when gently dipped in mustard they were better than most corn dogs I’ve had. Were I to make these again — and I probably will, at some point — I will precook the bacon less than I did this time, because much of the bacon emerged a bit tougher than I prefer. And I might seek out a method of making a dough instead of a batter, if only to improve the final product’s attractiveness.
(GeekDad accepts no responsibility for health conditions brought on or exacerbated by attempting to duplicate these recipes. Fry at your own risk.)